As I get older I find myself thinking a lot about "finishing lines". A big finishing line in our culture is retirement. My own profession is largely focused on helping prepare folks for retirement, from a financial standpoint. We spend much of our lives pursuing these finishing lines...graduation from levels of school, marriage, raising children to adulthood, retirement and beyond...
I tend to think that our motivation to bring our all to something wanes once a finish line is crossed. Think of the Olympic track events, where world class athletes give their all to win the gold. As the winners plunge across the finish line they often collapse, having spent every ounce of energy. I wonder if we have the wrong "finish lines" in mind sometimes. If we give our all to reach a finish line such as retirement...what to we bring to the game after we retire?
We might do well to consider the ultimate horizon of our lives, as Believers in Jesus Christ. In a sense, He crossed the finish line for us long before we were born. The finish line of redemption allows us to pursue the horizon of a living relationship with God. Because Jesus has paid the price that we owed for our faults, our sins, we can have an intimate bond with the Lord that begins during our life, here, and continues in an unbroken way on the other side of death's gateway. In a sense, we can experience the "ultimate" on a daily basis, regardless of where we are on life's journey, because Jesus crossed the finish line of the Cross and the Resurrection.
John 19:28-30 Jesus knew that his mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture he said, "I am thirsty." A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it to his lips. When Jesus had tasted it, he said, "It is finished!" Then he bowed his head and released his spirit.